The DDS is responsible for developing a claimant’s medical history for at least the previous 12 months in most claims. This includes statements or reports from the claimant or his treating source, and information about the impact of an impairment and its related symptoms on a claimant’s ability to work. Every reasonable effort is made to obtain medical reports from the claimant’s treating source or other medical sources. The DDS evaluates every medical opinion received regardless of source, but does not have to give every opinion equal weight. The treating source is given “controlling weight” if the opinion is well supported by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques and is not inconsistent with other substantial evidence in the case record.
If the treating source’s report contains a conflict or ambiguity that must be resolved, lacks necessary information, or does not appear to be based on medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques, the DDS may recontact the treating source for additional evidence or clarification. If the treating source will not or cannot provide the information needed to decide the case, the DDS can order and pay for a consultative examination.
“Acceptable medical sources” are sources who can provide evidence to establish a medically determinable impairment (see Box 1-1). The term
Acceptable Medical Sources